The Existential Crisis

Hello my Zebras and Spoonies! Thanks for coming and hanging out with me today, I’m glad that you are here. Today I am going to be talking about the existential crisis and how they relate to having a chronic illness.

Let’s start off by talking about what an existential crisis is. Basically, it is when you reach a point in your life that you question the purpose, value and meaning of your life. This term comes from the ideas presented in existential philosophy. The central idea of which is that we have no purpose, value or meaning in life beyond that which we ourselves give it. Because of this, it is possible to have that foundation undermined.

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Forever

Everything comes and goes. Time stretches out to our pasts and then out into our futures. Time before we began and then long after we are gone. Immense oceans and the boundlessness of space are mere specks in the vast realm of time. Does it rise and fall with its own tides? Imagine it coming into shore with each new being and then receding again with each death. A rhythm of life that lasts forever. Time begetting time.

Does it fold and overlap so that the past can become the future and the future can be part of the past? Imagine the way that changes everything. This would deepen the nature of forever to an even greater infinity (yes, I know you cannot make infinity larger). Would each place of touching be a time that we could choose to change the flow or would these be places in which more then one reality exists. That would imply that there are an infinity of realities making all of existence stretch out forever. Imagine how many people we could be while still being the same. Imagine in how many realities we wouldn’t even come into being. A single relationship not resulting in that one child would erase an entire family line. And the reverse would be true. A relationship that resulted in a child when it previously had not would create a line of possibly hundreds or thousands of people that would not exist in the other reality. What then does this make us? How would we define an individual? I think it would be by our DNA. That would have to be essentially the same or we would be someone else. We could make different choices that would greatly effect the person we become. And those people we encounter could also make different choices that would effect us into being different people. Imagine the difference of a 70 year old person who was raped at 18 versus the same 70 year old if they hadn’t been raped. They would be the same person, but I imagine that much of them would be different. In this way we too could last forever, if the realities had endless possibilities and versions.

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Free Agency

The universe is infinite in both size and time. When compared to this incomprehensible immensity, we are beyond insignificant. It is rather like being a single cell within a human body. An essential working component to the whole, but inconceivably too small to ever be considered by that greater whole. So, whether or not the universe holds a consciousness has never seemed a relevant question to me. That is like asking if a human is paying attention to the individual cells making up their body. If the universe has a consciousness, it is unlikely that it would ever spend time in consideration of a single human individual given the context of the vastness of the universe as a whole. Especially when one considers the very real possibility of the multiverse.

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What is Ethics?

Ethics is the portion of philosophical thought that considers what is right and wrong. Ethics is broken down into 3 categories: Metaethics, Normative Ethics and Applied Ethics. Metaethics is abstract and related to a wide range of more specific practical questions. Such as “What is truth?” Normative ethics is the study of ethical action and is founded upon metaethical discussions. Simply stated, normative ethics refers to standards of behavior that tell us how human beings ought to act in the many situations in which they find themselves. Applied ethics is a discipline of philosophy that attempts to apply ethical theory to real-life situation. The discipline has many specialized fields, such as biomedical ethics.

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Live. Love. Laugh. Play.

Live!

Take time to experience the world around you. Be mindful of yourself and stay present in the moment. Living is now. We have a finite amount of time to spend and there is no earning any more. If we hold too tightly onto the past, we let it cloud today. If we look only to the future we will loose sight of today’s treasures. We tend to hurry through our lives. Rushing from task to task. But even in these busy times, you can live in your moment. Do each thing as if it was all there was and immerse yourself.

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Matter

1. Matter,  as distinct from mind and spirit, is a broad word that applies to anything perceived, or known to be occupying space: solid matter; gaseous matter.
2. to be of importance; signify

www.dictionary.com

It is interesting that we use the same word to identify that something has substance and that it has meaning. Inherent in our language is the suggested value that all things that exist have meaning. This single shared meaning, suggestiong that simply existing equates with holding meaning and thus, having value.

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EXISTENTIALISM SAVES US

Most people who struggle with chronic illness have also had to face an existential crisis. Most don’t call it this or realize that there is a name for it, but most of us share this experience as we move through our journey of grief. We have to face the world as it is: brutal, raw and unfair. What meaning and purpose can there possibly be in a universe that slays children with leukemia and slowly crushes you beneath the EDS heel? 

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